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Nintendo Switch Online suffers connection failures in China

Problems most likely due to use of Google-based servers

Nintendo has finally rolled out its online service around the world, but Chinese Switch owners are struggling to connect.

According to YouTube channel Chinese Nintendo, players in the region are suffering "black screens and connection failures" in key first-party titles Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

In a tweet, the team suggested this is "probably due to the introduction of Google-based servers." Google's sites and services are banned in mainland China, so any games or other services using its tech can suffer from this.

Pokémon Go, for example, was initially denied a licence in China as it is built on Google Maps, although a partnership with local publisher NetEase has since paved the way for its release.

Despite the long-awaited lifting of China's console ban back in 2015, the Switch hasn't actually been officially released to the nation yet. Instead, Chinese gamers are able to purchase the device from Hong Kong, where it launched at the same time as other worldwide territories.

In an investor Q&A back in February, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima recognised the opportunity for Switch and other Nintendo devices in China, but said there are no confirmed plans for a launch.

"China has a huge population and I believe there are many people who want to enjoy the forms of play and games made by Nintendo, which is why we continue to study business opportunities even though our products are unavailable there at the present time," he said.

"We would like to see the people of China also experience Nintendo's forms of play and games that other countries enjoy now. How best to achieve this is a subject we are working through point by point, consulting with various other parties on aspects we cannot tackle alone. I would like to realise this as quickly as possible, but there is nothing I can say at this time about activities that will start within the year. "

The Nintendo Switch Online service finally launched last week, meaning players are now required to pay a monthly fee to enjoy online multiplayer games. The subscription also gives them access to cloud saves and a catalogue of classic NES games, with the option of a family plan furthering Nintendo's plans to sell multiple Switch units into each household.